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Australia ease to series sweep over Windies

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Last updated on: November 29, 2005 12:25 IST

Australia cruised to a seven-wicket victory in the third and final Test against the West Indies in Adelaide on Tuesday to complete a 3-0 series sweep.

Chasing 182 to win, the Australians raced to their victory target 16 minutes into the middle session of the fifth and final day at the Adelaide Oval after resuming on 76 for two.

Opener Matthew Hayden finished 87 not out, narrowly missing the chance of becoming the third player in history to make hundreds in five successive Tests, while first innings centurion Mike Hussey hit the winning run to finish unbeaten on 30.

"I think we played some very good cricket, there's no doubt about that," Australian captain Ricky Ponting said.

"We had a few wrongs to right after the Ashes tour and I think we've made a few steps towards making ourselves a better cricket team."

Australia lost one wicket on the last day with Brad Hodge dismissed for 23, brilliantly caught by a diving Dwayne Smith at backward point off Daren Powell's bowling.


The West Indies almost captured a second wicket when Hussey hit a loose shot in the air that just evaded the outstretched arm of Fidel Edwards, but were otherwise powerless to prevent Australia's relentless march to victory.

"I think after the Ashes series Australia realised they were starting to relax a bit and they needed to pick their game up a little bit more so they were pretty tough this series," West Indian captain Shivnarine Chanderpaul said.

"We lost 3-0 but there are plenty of positives we can take out of this... once we get it right things will happen for us."

Hayden had an extraordinary let-off on Monday afternoon when he was given the benefit of the doubt after clearly edging a catch behind but did not need any assistance on Tuesday as he tore into the West Indian bowling.

The broad-shouldered left-hander batted four and a half hours, faced 174 balls and struck 12 boundaries and would almost certainly have reached his third hundred of the series if Australia had not reached their target so quickly.

Hayden also scored centuries in the final Ashes Test against England and in the one-off ICC Super Test against a World XI in Sydney last month.

Australia's Don Bradman scored six centuries in succession in the late 1930s while South African Jacques Kallis chalked up five on the trot two seasons ago.

Hayden was named player of the series after scoring 445 runs at an average of 89 while Brian Lara was chosen as man of the match after scoring 226 in the first innings to break Allan Border's world Test run-scoring record.

"This series has been excellent," Lara said.

"Australia came out victorious but I'm sure you'll agree we've got a good group of young players, very exciting players, and guys who want to represent their country."


West Indies first innings: 405 (Brian Lara 226)

Australia first innings: 428 (Mike Hussey 133 not out, Justin Langer 99; Dwayne Bravo 6-84)

West Indies second innings: 204 (Dwayne Bravo 64, Ramnaresh Sarwan 62; Shane Warne 6-80)

Australia second innings: (overnight score 76-2)
J Langer c D Smith b Collymore 20
M Hayden not out 87
R Ponting c Sarwan b Collymore 3
B Hodge c D Smith b Powell 23
M Hussey not out 30

Extras  (lb 3, w 1, nb 15) 19

Total   (for 3 wickets in 58 overs) 182

Fall of wickets: 1-51, 2-55, 3-110.

Bowling: Edwards 11-1-52-0, Powell 14-2-40-1, Collymore 20-6-51-2, Sarwan 12-2-35-0, D Smith 1-0-1-0.

Julian Linden
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